AFI Conservatory Graduates Win Awards for Thesis Work

Five promising AFI Conservatory graduates have won awards from the film institute’s community of supporters.

The grads from the class of 2014 received grants for excellence in their thesis work.

The William J. Fadiman Award for Screenwriting — worth $15,000 — was awarded to Emily Ackerman for her screenplay “Higher” and Derek Ustruck for his screenplay “Yi Qi.” The award recognizes achievement in screenwriting.

The Richard P. Rogers Spirit of Excellence Award was given to director Stefan Kubicki for the film “Against Night,” which was also nominated for a 2015 Student Academy Award in the narrative category. The $15,000 prize is doled out annually to a director whose performance embodies the spirit of its documentarian namesake.

Chloe Okuno and Logan Sandler were presented the Franklin J. Schaffner Fellow Awards for their films “Slut” and “Tracks,” respectively. They each received $10,000 for their work as directors.

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